Are diet drinks your choice? Beware, your heart could be at risk. A new study suggests that drinking diet drinks were associated with an increased risk of having a stroke among post-menopausal women, researchers say. The stroke is caused by a blocked artery, especially small arteries. Also Read - PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana: Farmers Can Get Rs 4,000 if They Register Before THIS Date | Check Details

The study, published in the journal Stroke, showed that compared with women who consumed diet drinks less than once a week or not at all, women who consumed two or more artificially sweetened beverages per day were 23 per cent more likely to have a stroke, 31 per cent more likely to have ischemic stroke, and 29 per cent were at risk of developing heart disease (fatal or non-fatal heart attack). Also Read - Royal Challengers Bangalore Match Dates IPL 2021: Check Out The Full Schedule For RCB

In addition, there was a 16 per cent risk of deaths from any cause. Also Read - TS EAMCET 2021 Exam Schedule Out: Check Entrance Test Dates For Engineering, Agriculture & Medical Exams | Details Here

Furthermore, stroke risks more than doubled in women without previous heart disease or diabetes and obese women without previous heart disease or diabetes, findings revealed.

“Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet. Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially-sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease,” said lead author Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Associate Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US.

For the study, researchers included 81,714 post-menopausal women aged 50-79 years.

The results in post-menopausal women may not be generalisable to men or younger women.

“The American Heart Association suggests water as the best choice for a no-calorie beverage,” suggested Rachel K. Johnson, Professor at the University of Vermont in the US.

“Since long-term clinical trial data are not available on the effects of low-calorie sweetened drinks and cardiovascular health, given their lack of nutritional value, it may be prudent to limit their prolonged use,” Johnson added.